Saturday night’s episode of the GSN cash game series “High Stakes Poker” featured the largest pot by far of Season 7, which is now just two hours old. Last week, two $400,000 pots were played and, this week, Victory Poker pro Antonio Esfandiari scooped one worth $593,000. Former “Saturday Night Live” funny man Norm Macdonald hosts the series.
To start the episode, David “Viffer” Peat was the table’s big winner, up $210,000, while PokerStars pro Vanessa Selbst was down $228,000. The eight-handed table featured three businessmen and five rock solid poker pros.
The action was fast and furious from the beginning. On a board of 7-8-2-A-J with three hearts, Silly Bandz creator Robert Croak checked holding 6-4 of hearts for a flush and Treasure Island Las Vegas owner Phil Ruffin fired out a massive overbet of $50,000 with a straight. Croak joked that if Ruffin would pull back $30,000, he’d gladly call, but ultimately pitched his cards into the muck. He explained, “I give you too much credit for betting four times the pot.”
On a flop of J-5-5, retired businessman Bill Klein checked holding pocket kings and Peat led out for $5,000 with 7-5 for trips. Klein check-raised to $15,000 and Peat called to bring a deuce on the turn. Klein bet $20,000 when the duck splashed and Peat called. The river was a nine. Klein bet $40,000 and Peat called to deliver the bad news. “Viffer” scooped the $160,000 pot and was up $319,000 on the young season.
In a pot that could have ended up a lot worse for “The Godfather of Poker” Doyle Brunson, the board read J-3-7-Q with three spades and Brunson check-called a bet of $10,100 from Esfandiari with Q-J of diamonds for top two pair. Esfandiari had turned a set with pocket queens and watched as the river was a four. Brunson check-called one more bet, this time of $30,100, and Esfandiari scooped a $96,000 pot.
Then, the second richest pot of the night occurred. On a flop of K-A-8, Ruffin bet $5,000 with K-3 of clubs for second pair and Peat called with 9-2 of the same suit for air. The turn was a four. Ruffin bet $20,000 and Peat bumped the action to $50,000 on a stone cold bluff. Ruffin called and the river was a queen. Ruffin checked, Peat relentlessly bet $100,000 with “nuclear squadoosh,” and Ruffin called despite his marginal holding. The pot was worth $319,000 and Ruffin was up $343,000 on the new season.
The largest pot of Saturday’s hour-long installment of “High Stakes Poker” featured a flop of 10-6-4 with two hearts. Esfandiari made a continuation bet of $6,200 with 8-7 of the suit for flush and straight draws, Peat called with 7-6 for middle pair, and Barry Greenstein raised to $30,000 with pocket fours for bottom set. Esfandiari 3bet to $106,000 and Peat got out of the way. Greenstein responded by 4betting all-in and Esfandiari obliged.
“The Magician” asked Greenstein if he wanted to run it once or twice and the PokerStars pro opted for the former. With a pot worth $593,000 hanging in the balance, the turn was the queen of hearts, giving Esfandiari a flush. Needing the board to pair on the river, Greenstein watched rather unemotionally as an eight hit.
Next week on “High Stakes Poker,” Victory Poker pro Andrew “good2cu” Robl joins the group, replacing Croak. You can catch new episodes on Saturdays at 8:00pm ET and 11:00pm ET on GSN.